El Gant - O.S.L.O.
“This album outlines my growth as a human. I wanted to share it as a way to help others who have experienced personal tragedies and may need help processing that.”—El Gant on his new solo album, O.S.L.O.
Following several tragedies in his personal life, New York rapper El Gant had a decision to make—face those losses head on or bury them deep within. Luckily for us, he chose the former. The result is O.S.L.O., the emcee’s most gripping and personal project yet. It’s also his most relatable, because it shows what we’re all capable of when we’re equipped with the right tools to cope and, in El Gant’s case, transform that tragedy into something powerful.
The album arrives nearly a decade after his previous solo effort, 2014’s great Beast Academy, and after several years spent touring and recording with his group, Jamo Gang, with Ras Kass and J57. Despite the highs associated with that time, El Gant also experienced major personal losses. In particular, he lost three close friends—The Last Original, Bones, and Jim Misa—all of whom had a major impact on his life and career. In fact, the album’s title, O.S.L.O., references the Last Original, because it’s an acronym for “Our Sun the Last Original.”
“His death really made me think about life and I made some huge transformations after that mentally, physically, and financially,” El Gant says. You can hear that personal growth on standout tracks like “Leave It Alone” and “Rubber Match,” produced by the legendary DJ Premier and J57, respectively. But it’s the stirring closing track, “Beautiful Disaster,” where El Gant speaks on losing his close friend, the Last Original, and how he found beauty amidst the chaos of those final days.
But it wouldn’t be an El Gant project without some straight-up dope hip-hop, too. Tracks like “Avirex (feat. Innocent? & King Magnetic)” and “Chromed Out (feat. Ras Kass & Planet Asia)” are absolute bangers filled with shape-shifting flows and crazy wordplay.
There’s a reason for these tonal shifts, too; El Gant didn’t want to simply create a linear album. “I want to take the listener on a few ups and downs, just like life does for most of us,” the emcee says. It’s those qualities that make O.S.L.O. so immediately satisfying, and why it’s his most accomplished work to date.
El Gant’s O.S.L.O. LP is due out August 26 through all major DSP’s and vinyl in both classic black and a limited translucent blue variant via El Gant’s Rule By Secrecy imprint in partnership with Fat Beats.
All songs mastered by Chris Kalbacher at Studio Square NYC, with the exception of “Leave it Alone” which was mastered by D-Sane for Digital Age Sound.
All songs mixed by Chris Kalbacher at Studio Square NYC, with the exception of “Leave it Alone” (Mixed by DJ Premier), and “Pageants” (Mixed by Shy the BeatYoda).
Artwork and design by Jared Fiorino:
“This album is dedicated to all those who inspired me whom I’ve lost, and to all of those who are still with us in the physical, who continue to inspire me and have helped me on my journey. Extra special shout out to L.O. (The Last Original), Bones, and Jim Misa. Rest in Power.” -El Gant